Crew to the res­cue as mast snaps

Father and son raise alarm af­ter spot­ting boat in peril

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CALUM ROSS

Four peo­ple came within min­utes of cap­siz­ing on Loch Ness af­ter the mast on their yacht snapped in “dan­ger­ous” weather con­di­tions.

Four peo­ple came within min­utes of cap­siz­ing on Loch Ness af­ter the mast on their yacht snapped in “dan­ger­ous” weather con­di­tions.

Vol­un­teers from Loch Ness RNLI team were called out in choppy wa­ters to res­cue the oc­cu­pants of the ves­sel ear­lier this week.

Ruairidh Mal­lows, from the Black Isle, helped raise the alarm and kept the sailors safe un­til the lifeboat crew ar­rived.

Last night, he de­scribed the mo­ment he no­ticed the yacht in trou­ble at the fa­mous beauty spot on

“There were four of them on board. They were wav­ing a T-shirt”

Wed­nes­day evening. “Me and my dad were sail­ing from Fort Au­gus­tus.

“It was prob­a­bly about 4.45pm when we came across them,” he said.

“At first we thought it was a cap­sized yacht be­cause we could just see the hull.

“It was so choppy and the yacht was go­ing up and down in the waves.

“But when we got a bit closer we saw that it wasn’t cap­sized yet.

“There were four of them. They were wav­ing a T-shirt and try­ing to get our at­ten­tion. Straight away we knew some­thing was up.

“We phoned the Coast- guard but I think some­one else al­ready had as well.”

Mr Mal­lows be­lieved the four peo­ple in the yacht had a lucky es­cape, given the con­di­tions.

He said: “It was pretty choppy and the wind was get­ting worse and worse.

“It was quite dan­ger­ous. But they were sit­ting in the cock­pit and deal­ing with it quite well.

“We were speak­ing to the Coast­guard on the way back. It was too windy for us to have our sail up and I think they had theirs up and the wood was rot­ten.

“We did loops around them to keep them safe in case any of them fell over­board and also to re­as­sure them.”

Mr Mal­lows added: “I’ve never seen that and even my dad who has been sail­ing for a long time had never seen that hap­pen be­fore.”

Loch Ness lifeboat spokes­woman Maeve Ryan said: “The lifeboat vol­un­teers headed off down there and ended up hav­ing to cut the wires.

“The wa­ter was quite rough and I am sure for a while it would have been quite wor­ry­ing with the sail down, but ev­ery­thing was sorted out.”

DEMASTED: The yacht with four peo­ple on board lost her mast in squally con­di­tions ear­lier this week and was res­cued by the RNLI crew

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